Honey Beard (Gaz & Tom) is an award winning Electronic Synthwave duo from Toronto, Canada. The band have been creating music since 2012 drawing on early influences such as Depeche Mode, Gary Numan and The Doors. The band have built up quite a reputation for their frenetic live performances with edgy songs that have shaken up typical synthwave tropes while balancing dark synths over bright thumping beats.
1- Where did you grow up?
Gaz: A place called Dundalk, in Ireland
Tom: Montreal, Canada 2- What is one of the first songs you remember liking as a kid?
Gaz: Dancing Queen by Abba and Oxygen by Jean Michelle Jarre
Tom: The first song I can remember liking as a child is Maxwell’s Silver Hammer by The Beatles.
3- What influenced you to get into music?
Gaz: Poetry initially, then I heard guitar distortion for the first time in a song called Two Princes by the Spin Doctors and was hooked, went right to Metallica from there. That's when I began learning the bass guitar.
Tom: Some friends and I wanted to start a band when we were 13/14. We randomly selected instruments to learn and got going. I ended up on drums. None of us progressed passed “extreme beginner” levels of proficiency and the idea of the band fell apart. 4- At what age did you start playing/singing?
Gaz: Around 15 years old I was big into Nirvana and wanted to scream like him, I tried it out a few times and was able to master it (can't do it anymore), so I began singing more and found I could hold a note even though I was always thrown out of choir classes at school.
Tom: After the short-lived band that went nowhere (14ish) my uncle forgot his guitar at my house. I taught myself a few songs and transitioned to the family piano once my uncle picked up his guitar. 5- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself after finishing school?
Gaz: You have dyscalculia, that's why you can't tell the time, remember numbers, do simple calculations etc., you are not stupid and don't belong in a remedial class!
Tom: Now is the best time to take a risk… you literally have nothing to lose. 6- What are some of your favorite songs at the moment?
Tom: In this shirt by the Irrepresibles
Gaz: I bought a heap of stuff on Bandcamp recently so I've been listening though that, can't give you a definite answer but fellow synth artists like The Subtheory, Eden Future, Le Groupe Fantastique, Czarina, Midnight HI FI, Bunny X, Thorrison, The Institute 91, even local rock acts like Blackout Orchestra, Prince Innocence, Bingeninja and some Irish artists like Elephant, Larry, Just Mustard and much more 7- Do you listen to your own music?
Gaz: Yeah, it's a necessary evil when writing music. After it's completed, I would only listen to songs that have videos on YouTube. rarely do I listen back to old stuff, it's always listening to the new, unfinished material to look for ideas to improve or complete.
Tom: Yes, you end up listening to them a lot during the production stages. I will listen back to the older stuff every once in a while… someone has to keep our Spotify streams up! 8- Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?
Gaz: I'm not a very good collaborator as I am full of self-doubt. I would like to have Anna from Vox Somnia (local Toronto band) to lay down vocals. her voice is out of this world. 9- What is one of your favorite memories so far in your music career?
Gaz: So many good memories of gigs I have I couldn't really pick one. Right now, I'm concentrating on creating more once we can safely play shows in other countries. It is a dream of mine to play all over the world.
Tom: One of our first shows we had a great turn out at a venue called “The Silver Dollar”. The sound was great, the place was packed, and I remember thinking that if this was how every show was, we were laughing… spoiler alert, most of them were not that good. 10- What advice would you give to someone that is just starting to get into music?
Gaz: Be authentic whenever you can. Don't shy away from constructive criticism, use it! But ignore unnecessarily harsh opinions, they're usually made by people who have no creative talent. Be open but not naive, too many scams out there looking to take your money in the name of promotion, if they believe in you, they won't ask you to pay. If you're in a band, be clear about what level of ambition you have and expect nothing worse than dragging band members along who don't want to do the work, or just do it as a hobby.
Tom: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, if a promoter offers you to play an amazing venue and all you have to do is sell 50 tickets…. just say no.
Honey Beard just released their new album "Oneiros" on November 17, 2021, through Retro Reverb Records. This is Honey Beard's second studio album which is a deeply layered journey through the labyrinth of synth charged bangers!
Be sure to check out more about them below.
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